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Investing In Your Brand Produces The Best Rewards

“Our goal is to educate, motivate, and entertain people in the industry thru the work we do, while helping and connecting partners to those who can benefit their brands.”

Jason Barrett

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2020 hasn’t been kind to many. Hundreds, if not thousands have lost jobs in our industry, and it’s forced a lot of us to look in the mirror and question the direction our business is headed in. I’d be lying if I said those prior conversations about moving into the agency business or returning to run a large media operation didn’t creep into my head, but as stressful as the past few months have been, I’ve never been prouder of our team of writers or the work we’ve done.

I don’t share a lot of details about our traffic because I’ve always felt that reaching 100 industry executives mattered more to our business than 10,000 clicks. I also know we cover a niche space, sports media, which produces less traffic than a full service sports site. Our goal has been to educate, motivate, and entertain people in the industry thru the work we do, while also helping and connecting partners to those who can benefit their brands. As long as we deliver on those promises, I’m satisfied.

But I was blown away to see that the news we share, the stories we tell, and the opinions we offer, have connected with more people during the darkest days in our business. Our traffic in June beat our prior 4 year page view totals by 6-7x, and in July, we beat June by 30%, crushing our prior 4 year page view totals by 8-9x. Our best months previously were January 2019 and 2020, months when we release our annual BSM Top 20. So much for sports not mattering huh? I’ll use this moment to remind you that if you’re in charge of advertising for a company that’s looking to connect with a professional audience, email me for a copy of our advertising deck.

I’d love to tell you that we devised a masterful strategy to fuel our growth, and though we made some SEO adjustments, the recent success has more to do with luck, and betting on the brand. In late May, I welcomed Jay Mariotti, John Michaels, Chrissy Paradis, Rob ‘Stats’ Guerrera, Ricky Keeler and Jacob Conley to our writing team. A few people close to me thought I was nuts considering the radio and advertising industry was weakening, and my own livelihood wasn’t secure. Though my bank account is a little lighter, the early returns have been favorable. We’re not out of the woods by any stretch, but the things we can control, we’ve done well at. It has reinforced my belief that you can’t be afraid to take risks during down times.

Secondly, we dove into some subjects that mattered greatly to our readers. Mike Golic and Will Cain‘s exits from ESPN Radio’s lineup, the network’s new programming schedule, Dave Portnoy-Big Cat’s issue over the President Trump interview, Emmanuel Acho’s ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man‘, and COVID-19’s impact on sports, were of great interest to readers. So too were a few of our columnist’s weekly pieces. Staying on top of so many things while trying to balance other jobs hasn’t been easy, but we’ve done the best we can, and I’m pleased with the progress.

Jay has especially been out in front on a lot of these items, cranking out 3-4 columns per week, delivering some of the best written sports content on the internet. He has his fans and critics, and I’m often surprised by the reaction of hosts who want him to pipe down when he offers an opinion they don’t agree with. Did we forget how this business works? You share a point of view, support it with evidence, and let an audience decide where they stand. Some will love you, and listen, watch or read more, and some will hate you, and tune you out. Nobody forces you to consume what you read. If it doesn’t cost you a dime, and you continue devouring content from someone you don’t agree with, then that’s your issue to resolve, because the host, or in this case, the columnist, is living rent free in your head.

What’s funny is I’ve had a few people assume that I share the same views as Jay, and ask me why I’d publish a piece if I didn’t agree with it. For example, I don’t agree with Jay that Dave Portnoy should be canceled. But it isn’t about what I think, it’s about offering different viewpoints, and letting those who consume your content decide where they lie on the issues. If the only thing we posted on this site was what satisfies my personal tastes, we’d be missing out on a much larger audience. This country, and more specifically the media business, used to disagree without it feeling contentious. The sooner we get back to that the better it’ll be for all of us.

Before I weigh in on five media items, I do want to share a few news items. A new BSM Podcast episode will be out soon with Mike Greenberg. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Greeny, and discussing his return to the national sports radio circuit. Look for the episode later this week.

Later next week, look for a story by Demetri Ravanos on FOX Sports Radio’s 20 year anniversary. We’ve been talking to a lot of people over the past month and a half about their experiences at the network to try and capture what the past two decades were like at one of America’s premier sports radio networks. There are a few more people to track down still, but the goal is to publish the piece either next Thursday or Friday.

I’m also thrilled to share that we’re adding Stan Norfleet as a writer at BSM. Stan wrote a great piece for Deadspin last month, which I encourage you to check out if you haven’t already done so. I’ve known him from his time hosting shows in Atlanta and Charlotte, plus he attended the BSM Summit in NYC this past February. Stan’s a sharp guy with a lot of personality, but he made a mistake on the air that cost him his gig in Atlanta in 2019. He’s doing his best to learn from that experience, and move his career forward, and I’m happy to give him a chance to rebound. His addition not only adds another talented perspective to the site, but it helps us strengthen our diversity, an issue that is important to me. I look forward to having him contribute. His first piece comes out this Thursday.

Five Things:

Barstool Documentary | Blogs & Videos | Barstool Sports

#1 – Barstool Sports has critics who want to sentence the brand to death for its history of offensive commentary, but if you can allow yourself to be entertained without reading too deeply into everything the brand does, you’ll find their documentary series to be excellent. I watched all 15 episodes with my 18-year old son, and we laughed our asses off. As someone who didn’t consume a ton of Barstool’s content during their early years, I enjoyed getting a better understanding of their progression, and seeing how the brand grew from an idea in Dave Portnoy’s head to a major mainstream media force.

The series gave me a new respect for Portnoy’s passion and vision. A lot of people want to see Dave go down in flames, but you don’t create a monster brand and compete against heavyweights if you don’t have talent, work ethic, creativity, and vision. Say what you want about Dave, but he gave up a good paying job to create a newspaper with no guarantees. He then busted his ass delivering papers all across Boston, writing under different aliases to make the brand look bigger, sold advertising (loved the fake ad trick), recruiting writers, and eventually developed events, merchandise, apps, podcasts and so much more. You get a good sense of how the brand took calculated business risks and continued to pivot throughout the series.

I also enjoyed learning how Barstool’s personalities discovered the brand, became who they are, and didn’t shy away from controversy no matter how complicated things became. Though some will loathe the brand for it, it’s become a huge part of their DNA. In doing so, they changed the game.

Despite an army of haters, Barstool also has a legion of fanatics who support the company’s initiatives every step of the way. So many get caught up in analyzing the commentary of their talent, but don’t give the brand enough credit for how skilled they are at operating their business. Think I’m wrong? Go look at where they stack up when it comes to podcasting, social media engagement, merchandise, popular apps, etc.. You don’t receive a massive investment from Penn National and the Chernin Group if you’re not doing something extremely well.

As a 46 year old professional male, I’m not their target, but I can see why the 18-34 demo digs what they’re doing. My favorite episode by far from the series was Chapter 12 (Tiko Texas). Though the belly button image grossed me out, and Portnoy’s rap song is lyrically crude, I was in tears laughing because his rhythm was terrible from start to finish. For the record, KFC won that rap battle, despite introducing one of the cheesiest rap tunes I’ve ever heard. What’s undeniable though is both Portnoy and KFC are far more skilled in the rap arena than Tiko Texas.

My advice, go to their website and in the search bar, enter ‘Barstool Documentary Series‘, and then watch the content. Or if you have Roku and prefer to watch on TV as I did, download their app, and go thru each chapter to see which one you enjoy most. The episodes are 16-35 minutes in length, and if you’re open minded, you’ll find yourself laughing often.

#2 – I admit that I have a biased answer to this next question, but is there any better of a fit on WFAN than Brandon Tierney? BT and I worked together in San Francisco and remain friends today. I’m sure he’ll see this at some point, and call me and express his frustration over it, but it needs to be said. His voice, passion, knowledge, and unwavering love for NYC should be on display on WFAN, not on CBS Sports Radio. I know he’s lived in many different places, and has the national experience to fit the bill, but The Fan is a bigger platform and it’s where he belongs.

What’s always confused me is why Tierney isn’t on the station’s radar despite working in the same building. He’s in his mid-40’s, lives and dies with the Yankees, Knicks and Jets, is unafraid to challenge decision makers, oozes passion, and connects to the NYC sports fan. He was barely given a sniff when Mike Francesa vacated afternoons, and though he did a show or two with Boomer following Craig Carton’s exit, Gio was the better fit in that spot.

I look at it from afar and wonder sometimes why he’s good enough to be on SNY, MSG, CBS and ESPN NY, but not The Fan. I raised it one time with him a year or two ago and he exited that conversation quicker than Eric Davis leaving the building in San Francisco after doing 4 hours of radio with him.

I understand that he occupies afternoons on CBS Sports Radio and the show is simulcast on the CBS Sports network, but before anyone tries to sell me on his value to the network, save your energy. The sports cash cow for Entercom New York is WFAN, not CBS Sports Radio. If you have an asset that fits well on the station, and can be a part of its long-term success, that comes first.

I applaud Mark Chernoff and Chris Oliviero for putting BT and Tiki Barber on the NYC radio airwaves last week. It was refreshing, and a good start. I just hope the next time it’s permanent.

Townsquare Media - Wikipedia

#3 – A tip of the cap is in order for executives at Townsquare Media. The company recently took the same path that Saga Communications did in March, eliminating Nielsen ratings in all 51 of their markets, a decision that should, but won’t, be carried out at every other radio company. I’m a fan of data, and enjoy crunching numbers to help talent maximize ratings, and salespeople and advertisers get the biggest return for their advertising dollar, but it’s time this business stopped spending money on a faulty service.

PPM has been flawed from its inception. I say that as someone who pumped his fist many times when the numbers were good, and cashed numerous bonus checks when the results benefited brands I managed. The measurement is embarrassingly low, and it’s often inconsistent with a station’s digital data, creating a ton of confusion and a lot of second guessing. It’s also led to a false sense of confidence for some talent and programmers who ‘think’ they know what works based on the behavior of a few meters.

Great vision starts in the mind. Success follows if topical and creative content is delivered consistently by a talented individual or team with a strong work ethic, and an ability to make adjustments, continue improving, and retain the confidence and patience from management. Add a winning play by play franchise to the airwaves, and a brand will be fine. This is rocket science.

If we know what works based on designing strategies to satisfy meters, then why hasn’t local sports radio produced a huge podcasting hit? Or shown an ability to understand and excel at social media? We’re living with patterns of the past, and assuming we’ll be fine as others like Spotify, SiriusXM, and Amazon aim to push us aside.

Talk radio must build new stars, and create ideas and killer content to generate excitement, and those things are far more important than chasing ghosts (meters), especially during a time when data means little to local businesses who are fighting to survive. The last time I looked, Joe Rogan, Bill Simmons and Dave Portnoy weren’t ‘killing it’ in the ratings, but each built brands that earned nine figure investments. If you have unique talent, and timely and creative content, you won’t need ratings to prove your value, it’ll already be understood.

Keyshawn, Jay, and Zubin (Mornings 5-9 on 103.3 FM ESPN) | KESN-FM

#4 – In 6 days, ESPN Radio will unveil its new weekday lineup and I don’t need a crystal ball to tell you what will happen on Monday morning August 17th. The new team of Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti will take the air, social media will freak out because it sounds different than the past two decades of ESPN Radio’s morning show, and many will declare the show dead, on life support, or a terrible decision by management. By Tuesday or Wednesday, the noise will amplify even more, and a month later it’ll drastically decline.

Nobody can predict if this morning show will work and last 6-12-18 months, so the best thing these guys can do is prepare, spend time together, create the best content possible, and absorb social media in small doses. The public almost always reacts negatively to something new. We saw it with Get Up and CMB, and it’s why Rob ‘Stats’ Guerrera preached patience from ESPN executives last week in his column.

Winning the PR game during week 1 for a new show isn’t supposed to happen, so don’t spend time worrying about it. Focus on winning the race, not the first mile. If the show has talent, creativity, work ethic, chemistry, and enough surprise moments to keep people on their toes, it’ll be fine. Just know going in, the warm embrace comes later, not during the first week.

#5 – Sports media people have needed sports to return more than I think they even realized. It sounds great when hosts are bullish about the best talent being able to turn dog shit into gold, but they don’t consider that people may not care about their on-air discussion about a movie or TV show, their first public dining experience since COVID-19 hit or their reaction to world news. It’s one thing to have hours worth of material to talk about, but it’s another to have content that an audience actually values.

Having spent more time lately listening, consulting, handling sales, social media, and publishing than writing and hosting podcasts, I’m amazed by how little we learned from the mistakes of a few years ago. When ESPN faced an image crisis over too many personalities being outspoken on political issues, it wasn’t fake news. Neither was the backlash the NFL faced over the anthem issue. Ratings went down, negative publicity up, and advertisers got nervous. Once the noise went away, changes were made, audiences returned, negative publicity declined, and business was booming.

But that took place in a world with sports….not the one we’ve lived in the past few months.

Here we are entering the fall of 2020, once again in an election year, dealing with a global pandemic, one which has sports media folks questioning which path to take. After stating they wouldn’t go down this road again, ESPN has reversed course yet again. Making matters more complicated has been the reaction by leagues to make political issues a larger part of their focus. It’s led many personalities to use their on-air and social platforms to deviate from talking sports, and unleash their fury on a variety of sensitive issues. I realize that the images we’ve seen on our televisions and phone screens in recent months have made many of us angry, myself included, but despite how furious we become with society, we can’t forget that we’re hired to provide a distraction from life’s chaos not add to it.

I saw a tweet recently from Linda Cohn which I thought hit the nail on the head. She asked “Why is the media keeping score on who is kneeling or standing for the national anthem? Don’t we all want the same thing, ending racism in our country?” The easy answer to those questions was yes, but some commentators want an excuse to connect sports to political issues because quite frankly they don’t care about sports, only the access the medium provides to being able to serve a steady diet of their unfiltered personal opinions to an audience.

I understand debating whether games should be played given the challenges presented by the virus. I think that subject is important and unavoidable because it’s impacted each of our lives, and is the biggest reason why our sports viewing experience is being affected. Though we may disagree on the right path forward for beating this pandemic, we’re all dealing with it and rooting for the same outcome. If the games and people we watch though start making divisive matters such as anthem protests, China, the election, defunding the police, racism, etc. part of the broadcast experience, you’ll see more people upset and the channel changed.

The question we should be asking is “do you care about the subject matter you’re tasked with talking about on a daily basis?” If the answer is no, that’s OK. Explore a move into news. Will Cain and Sid Rosenberg did it, so too did Keith Olbermann. The news format needs new voices, and there’s a massive audience seeking that type of content. But don’t stand in the way of those who still care about the thing you’re supposed to.

Sports has never been more important in our lifetime. Without it we’ve seen how dark the world is. Hope, joy, laughter, and an uplifting distraction are needed by fans, listeners, viewers, and readers, not an avalanche of messaging that triggers an immediate tune out. Ratings so far are showing it doesn’t work. Many will blame the decrease on the pandemic, just as they blamed past results on cord cutting, the election, and other issues, ignoring the fact that nobody is in stadiums or arenas this time, and fans have gone thru months of sports withdrawal, meaning we should have more people watching, not less.

The public isn’t seeking a greater mixture of sports and politics, the media and sports leagues are. We can beat this drum again and again, but after a while, the same results appear, and eventually, the excuses run out.

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Media Announces 3 Additions, Social Media Changes

“Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.”

Jason Barrett

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It’s taken years of hard work, adjustments, and a whole lot of trial and error to turn this brand into a trusted source for industry professionals. It’s been exciting and rewarding to tell stories, highlight the industry, and use my decades worth of knowledge and relationships to help the brands I work with make progress. But while I may prioritize the work I do for others, I’ve also got to balance it with making sure BSM and BNM run smoothly.

Each day, Barrett Media produces nearly fifty social posts, one to two newsletters, and twenty to thirty sports and news media stories and columns. I didn’t even mention podcasts, which is another space we recently entered. Making sure we’re delivering quality not quantity is vital, and so too is promoting it consistently and creatively.

Today, we have thirty people on our payroll. I never expected that to be the case, but as needs have increased and deeper bonds have been formed between the brand, our audience, and our clients, it’s allowed us to find new ways to invest in delivering insight, information, and opinion to our readers. Writing, editing, and creating content for a brand like ours isn’t for everyone. I just spent the past three months interviewing nearly forty people, and there’s a lot of quality talent out there. But talent for radio and journalism doesn’t always mean the fit is right for BSM and BNM. Luckily, I’ve been able to assemble a stellar group of people, which allows us to earn your attention each day, and I’m happy to reveal that we’re adding to our roster yet again.

First, please join me in welcoming Garrett Searight to BSM and BNM. Garrett has been hired as our FT Brand Editor, which means he will oversee BSM and BNM’s website’s content M-F during normal business hours. He will work closely with yours truly, our nighttime editors Arky Shea and Eduardo Razo, and our entire writing teams to create content opportunities for both of our brands. Garrett joins us after a decade long stint in Lima, OH where he most recently worked as program director and afternoon host at 93.1 The Fan. He also programmed classic country station 98.5 The Legend. His first day with us is August 1st, but he’ll be training this month to make sure he’s ready to hit the ground running.

Next, I am excited to welcome Alex Reynolds as our Social Media Coordinator. Alex’s creativity and curiosity stood out during our interview process, and we’re excited to have him helping with social content creation and scheduling for BSM and BNM. He’s a graduate of Elon University, a big fan of lacrosse, and he’ll be working with Dylan Barrett to improve our graphic creation, schedule our content, and further develop the social voice for both of our brands.

Speaking of our two brands, though we produce content on the website for both sports and news, how they get promoted on social is changing. When I started this company, the website was known as SportsRadioPD.com. That worked perfectly with my Twitter and Instagram handles, which were also @sportsradiopd. But since we switched our URL to BarrettSportsMedia.com and started ramping up content for both sports and news it’s become clear that we needed dedicated brand pages. It’s harder to expect people to share an individual’s content, and the mix of sports and news often feels off-brand to the two different audiences we serve. It feels even stranger if I’m buying social media ads to market content, a conference, and other things, so it’s time to change things up.

Starting today, you can now follow Barrett Sports Media on Twitter @BSMStaff. You can also follow Barrett News Media on Twitter @BNMStaff. Each brand also has its own Facebook page. Moving forward, we will promote sports media content on our sports accounts, and news media content on our news accounts. We started with that approach for BNM when the brand launched in September 2020, but expecting people to read another site and follow other social accounts was a tall order for a brand that was finding its footing. We made a choice to promote both sports and news under the same social accounts for the past year in order to further grow awareness for the content, and as we stand today, I think many would agree that BNM has made great strides. We’ve built a kick ass team to cover the news media industry, and I’m hoping many of you will take a moment to give BNM’s pages a follow to stay informed.

One thing you will notice is that the @BSMStaff account has replaced the @sportsradiopd account on Twitter. Let’s face it, most people who have followed me on Twitter have done so for BSM or BNM’s content, not for my NY Knicks and pro wrestling rants. I am keeping my @sportsradiopd handle but that is being developed as a brand new personal account. That said, if you enjoy sending DM’s my way, give the new @sportsradiopd account a follow so we can stay in touch. The only account we will use to promote content from both brands under is the Barrett Media account on LinkedIn. Instagram is not a focus right now nor is TikTok or Snapchat. I realize audiences exist everywhere but I’d rather be great at a few things than average at a lot of them.

Now that we’ve tackled the social media changes, let me share another exciting piece of news. I’m thrilled to welcome Jessie Karangu to our brand as a BSM weekly columnist. Jessie has great energy, curiosity, and a genuine love and passion for the media industry. He’s worked for Sinclair television, written for Awful Announcing, and has also hosted podcasts and video shows on YouTube. His knowledge and interest in television is especially strong, and I’m looking forward to featuring his opinions, and perspectives on our website. His debut piece for the site will be released this Wednesday.

With all of this happening, Demetri Ravanos is shifting his focus for the brand to a space he’s passionate about, audio. His new title is BSM’s Director of Audio Content. This means he will be charged with overseeing the editing, execution, and promotion of our various podcasts. He will also work closely with me in developing future Barrett Media shows. We have 3 in weekly rotation now, and will be adding Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves next week, and The Jason Barrett Podcast the week after that. The goal is to increase our audio library in the future provided the right ideas, talent, and interest are there.

Another goal of mine moving forward is to grow our advertising partnerships. Between our website, social media channels, podcasts, and newsletters, we have many ways to help brands connect to an affluent, influential, and loyal industry audience. We’ve enjoyed working with and helping brands over the years such as Point to Point Marketing, Jim Cutler NY, Steve Stone Voiceovers, Core Image Studio, Skyview Networks, Compass Media Networks, ESPN Radio and Harker Bos Group. That doesn’t include all of the great sponsors we’ve teamed up with for our annual BSM Summit (2023’s show will be announced by the end of the summer). I’m excited to add to the list by welcoming Backbone as a new website and newsletter partner. We’re also looking forward to teaming up in the near future with Quu and the Sports Gambling Podcast Network, and hope to work with a few others we’ve had recent dialogue with.

When it comes to marketing, I try to remind folks of our reach, the value we add daily across the industry, and the various ways we can help. I know it’s human nature to stick with what we know but if you work with a brand, I invite you to check into BSM/BNM further. Stephanie Eads is awesome to work with, cares about our partners, and our traffic, social impressions, and most importantly, the quality of our audience is proven. To learn more about what we can do, email Stephanie at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Yes we continue to grow, and I’m happy about that, but just because we’re adding head count doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to be better. It takes every person on a team holding up their end of the bargain, creating killer content, setting expectations, and paying attention to the follow through. We take pride in our work, value the support of our partners, and are extremely thankful for the continued readership of our material. That consistent support is what allows me to add to our team to better serve fans, partners, and industry professionals.

It may seem small, and unimportant but those retweets, comments, and mentions on the air about our content makes a difference. To all who take the time to keep our industry conversations alive, thank you. This is an awesome business with a lot of great brands, people, content, and growth opportunities, and the fact that we get to learn from you, share your stories, and help those reading learn in the process makes waking up to do it an honor.

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Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media To Launch Podcast Network

“We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July.”

Jason Barrett

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To run a successful digital content and consulting company in 2022 it’s vital to explore new ways to grow business. There are certain paths that produce a higher return on investment than others, but by being active in multiple spaces, a brand has a stronger chance of staying strong and overcoming challenges when the unexpected occurs. Case in point, the pandemic in 2020.

As much as I love programming and consulting stations to assist with growing their over the air and digital impact, I consider myself first a business owner and strategist. Some have even called me an entrepreneur, and that works too. Just don’t call me a consultant because that’s only half of what I do. I’ve spent a lot of my time building relationships, listening to content, and studying brands and markets to help folks grow their business. Included in my education has been studying website content selection, Google and social media analytics, newsletter data, the event business, and the needs of partners and how to best serve them. As the world of media continues to evolve, I consider it my responsibility to stay informed and ready to pivot whenever it’s deemed necessary. That’s how brands and individuals survive and thrive.

If you look at the world of media today compared to just a decade ago, a lot has changed. It’s no secret during that period that podcasting has enjoyed a surge. Whether you review Edison Research, Jacobs Media, Amplifi Media, Spotify or another group’s results, the story is always the same – digital audio is growing and it’s expected to continue doing so. And that isn’t just related to content. It applies to advertising too. Gordon Borrell, IAB and eMarketer all have done the research to show you where future dollars are expected to move. I still believe it’s smart, valuable and effective for advertisers to market their products on a radio station’s airwaves, but digital is a key piece of the brand buy these days, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.

If you were in New York City in March for our 2022 BSM Summit, you received a program at the show. Inside of one of the pages was a small ad (same image used atop this article) which said “Coming This Summer…The BSM Podcast Network…Stay Tuned For Details.” I had a few people ask ‘when is that happening, and what shows are you planning to create?’ and I kept the answers vague because I didn’t want to box ourselves in. I’ve spent a few months talking to people about joining us to help continue producing quality written content and improve our social media. Included in that process has been talking to members of our team and others on the outside about future opportunities creating podcasts for the Barrett Sports Media brand.

After examining the pluses and minuses, and listening and talking to a number of people, I’m excited to share that we are launching the BSM Podcast Network. We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July. Demetri Ravanos will provide oversight of content execution, and assist with production and guest booking needs for selected pods. This is why we’ve been frequently promoting Editor and Social Media jobs with the brand. It’s hard to pursue new opportunities if you don’t have the right support.

The titles that will make up our initial offerings are each different in terms of content, host and presentation. First, we have Media Noise with Demetri Ravanos, which has produced over 75 episodes over the past year and a half. That show will continue in its current form, being released each Friday. Next will be the arrival of The Sports Talkers Podcast with Stephen Strom which will debut on Thursday June 23rd, the day of the NBA Draft. After that, The Producer’s Podcast with Brady Farkas will premiere on Wednesday June 29th. Then as we move into July, two more titles will be added, starting with a new sales focused podcast Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves. The final title to be added to the rotation will be The Jason Barrett Podcast which yours truly will host. The goal is to have five weekly programs distributed through our website and across all podcasting platforms by mid to late July.

I am excited about the creation of each of these podcasts but this won’t be the last of what we do. We’re already working on additional titles for late summer or early fall to ramp up our production to ten weekly shows. Once a few ideas and discussions get flushed out, I’ll have more news to share with you. I may consider adding even more to the mix too at some point. If you have an idea that you think would resonate with media professionals and aspiring broadcasters, email me by clicking here.

One thing I want to point out, this network will focuses exclusively on various areas of the sports media industry. We’ll leave mainstream sports conversations to the rest of the media universe. That’s not a space I’m interested in pursuing. We’ve focused on a niche since arriving on the scene in 2015 and have no plans to waver from it now.

Additionally, you may have noticed that we now refer to our company as ‘Barrett Media’. That’s because we are now involved in both sports and news media. That said, we are branding this as the BSM Podcast Network because the titles and content are sports media related. Maybe there will be a day when we introduce a BNM version of this, but right now, we’ve got to make sure the first one works right before exploring new territory.

Our commitment to delivering original industry news, features and opinions in print form remains unchanged. This is simply an opportunity to grow in an area where we’ve been less active. I know education for industry folks and those interested in entering the business is important. It’s why young people all across the country absorb mountains of debt to receive a college education. As valuable as those campus experiences might be, it’s a different world once you enter the broadcasting business.

What I’d like to remind folks is that we continue to make investments in the way we cover, consult, and discuss the media industry because others invest in us. It’d be easy to stockpile funds and enjoy a few more vacations but I’m not worried about personal wealth. I’m focused on building a brand that does meaningful work by benefitting those who earn a living in the media industry or are interested in one day doing so. As part of that process I’m trying to connect our audience to partners who provide products, services or programs that can benefit them.

Since starting this brand, we’ve written more than 18,000 articles. We now cover two formats and produce more than twenty five pieces of content per day. The opportunity to play a small role in keeping media members and future broadcasters informed is rewarding but we could not pay people to edit, write, and host podcasts here if others didn’t support us. For that I’m extremely grateful to those who do business with us either as a consulting client, website advertiser, Summit partner or through a monthly or annual membership. The only way to get better is to learn from others, and if our access to information, knowledge, relationships and professional opinions helps others and their brands, then that makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks as always for the continued support. We appreciate that you read our content each day, and hope to be able to earn some of your listenership in the future too.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Pursuing Media Jobs

“Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.”

Jason Barrett

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I recently appeared on a podcast, Monetize Media, to discuss the growth of Barrett Media. The conversation covered a lot of ground on business topics including finding your niche, knowing your audience and serving them the right content in the right locations, the evolution of the BSM Summit, and why consulting is a big part of our mix but can’t be the only thing we do.

Having spent nearly seven years growing this brand, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just know what’s worked for us, and it starts with vision, hard work, consistency, and a willingness to adapt quickly. There are many areas we can be better in whether it’s social media, editing, SEO, sales, finding news, producing creative original content or adding more staff. Though there’s always work to be done and challenges to overcome, when you’re doing something you love and you’re motivated to wake up each day doing it, that to me is success.

But lately there’s one part of the job that I haven’t enjoyed – the hiring process. Fortunately in going through it, I was able to get to know Arky Shea. He’s a good guy, talented writer, and fan of the industry, and I’m thrilled to share that he’s joining us as BSM’s new night time editor. I’ll have a few other announcements to make later this month, but in the meantime, if you’re qualified to be an editor or social media manager, I’m still going through the process to add those two positions to our brand. You can learn more about both jobs by clicking here.

Working for an independent digital brand like ours is different from working for a corporation. You communicate directly with yours truly, and you work remotely on a personal computer, relying on your eyes, ears and the radio, television, and internet to find content. Because our work appears online, you have to enjoy writing, and understand and have a passion for the media industry, the brands who produce daily content, and the people who bring those brands to life. We receive a lot of interest from folks who see the words ‘sports’ and ‘news’ in our brand names and assume they’re going to cover games or political beats. They quickly discover that that’s not what we do nor are we interested in doing it.

If you follow us on social media, have visited our website or receive our newsletters, you’ve likely seen us promoting openings with the brand. I’ve even bought ads on Indeed, and been lucky enough to have a few industry folks share the posts on social. We’re in a good place and trying to make our product better, so to do that, we need more help. But over the past two months, Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.

Receiving applications from folks who don’t have a firm grasp of what we do is fine. That happens everywhere. Most of the time we weed those out. It’s no different than when a PD gets an application for a top 5 market hosting gig from a retail employee who’s never spoken on a microphone. The likelihood of that person being the right fit for a role without any experience of how to do the job is very slim. What’s been puzzling though is seeing how many folks reach out to express interest in opportunities, only to discover they’re not prepared, not informed or not even interested in the role they’ve applied for.

For instance, one applicant told me on a call ‘I’m not interested in your job but I knew getting you on the phone would be hard, and I figured this would help me introduce myself because I know I’m a great host, and I’d like you to put me on the radar with programmers for future jobs.’ I had another send a cover letter that was addressed to a different company and person, and a few more applied for FT work only to share that they can’t work FT, weren’t interested in the work that was described in the position, didn’t know anything about our brand but needed a gig, were looking for a confidence boost after losing a job or they didn’t have a computer and place to operate.

At first I thought this might be an exclusive issue only we were dealing with. After all, our brand and the work we do is different from what happens inside of a radio or TV station. In some cases, folks may have meant well and intended something differently than what came out. But after talking to a few programmers about some of these things during the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned to hear how many similar horror stories exist. One top programmer told me hiring now is much harder than it was just five years ago.

I was told stories of folks applying for a producer role at a station and declining an offer unless the PD added air time to the position. One person told a hiring manager they couldn’t afford not to hire them because their ratings were tanking. One PD was threatened for not hiring an interested candidate, and another received a resume intended for the competing radio station and boss. I even saw one social example last week of a guy telling a PD to call him because his brand was thin on supporting talent.

Those examples I just shared are bad ideas if you’re looking to work for someone who manages a respected brand. I realize everyone is different, and what clicks with one hiring manager may not with another, but if you have the skills to do a job, I think you’ll put yourself in a better position by avoiding these 5 mistakes below. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your chances of landing an opportunity, I recommend you click here.

Educate Yourself Before Applying – take some time to read the job description, and make sure it aligns with your skillset and what you’re looking to do professionally before you apply. Review the company’s body of work and the people who work there. Do you think this is a place you’d enjoy being at? Does it look like a job that you’d gain personal and professional fulfillment from? Are you capable of satisfying the job requirements? Could it potentially put you on the path to greater opportunities? If most of those produce a yes, it’s likely a situation to consider.

Proofread Your Email or Cover Letter and Resume – If the first impression you give a hiring manager is that you can’t spell properly, and you address them and their brand by the wrong names, you’re telling them to expect more mistakes if they hire you. Being detail oriented is important in the media business. If this is your introduction to someone and they have a job you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to go through your materials thoroughly before you press send. If you can have someone else put an extra set of eyes on your introduction to protect you from committing a major blunder even better.

Don’t Waste People’s Time – You’d be annoyed if a company put you through a 3-4 week process only to tell you they didn’t see you as a viable candidate right? Well, it works the other way too. If you’re not seriously interested in the job or you’re going into the process hoping to change the job description later, don’t apply. If the fit isn’t right or the financials don’t work, that’s OK. Express that. People appreciate transparency. Sometimes they may even call you back in the future when other openings become available. But if you think someone is going to help you after you wasted their time or lied to them, trust me, they won’t.

Don’t Talk Like An Expert About Things You Don’t Know – Do you know why a station’s ratings or revenue is down? Are you aware of the company’s goals and if folks on the inside are satisfied or upset? Is the hiring manager someone you know well enough to have a candid professional conversation with? If the answers are no, you’re not helping your case by talking about things you don’t have full knowledge of. You have no idea how the manager you’re talking to has been dealing with the challenges he or she is faced with so don’t pretend you do. Just because someone wrote an article about it and you read it doesn’t mean you’re informed.

Use Social Wisely – Being frustrated that you didn’t get a job is fine. Everyone goes through it. Asking your friends and followers for advice on social of how you could’ve made a better case for yourself is good. That shows you’re trying to learn from the process to be better at it next time. But taking to social to write a book report blasting the hiring manager, their brand, and/or their company over a move that didn’t benefit you just tells them they made the right move by not bringing you in. Chances are, they won’t be calling you in the future either.

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